The children are upbeat and still enjoying all of the attention they are receiving. Normally I would expect the celebrity status to start tapering off, now, but no! It is always exciting to look like someone punched you in the face! And today was the day that they both started developing black eyes–more accurately, in their case (so far), green eyes–so the fascination with their survivor status has only heightened.
Chickadee came home from school with a new bandage on her head, as she’d felt the need to show off the actual stitches, and then of course had to go down to the nurse to be rebandaged. Naturally I have taught her to stagger around with her arms out screeching “BRAINS! I WANT TO EAT YOUR BRAAAAAAAINS!” but I’m not sure if that was part of today’s demonstration. Probably I would’ve gotten a phone call if it had been.
Meanwhile, it turns out that injured children are stuffed animal magnets; in addition to the other creatures they’ve added to their menagerie since Monday (which was… what… 6 years ago? this is the longest week EVER), tonight my children declared their intention to leave me and go be raised by Kira, and I can’t say as I blame them. Just look at what she sent to each of them. It’s a bear! With expensive chocolate! It’s everything in the world they love best! (And I got my own box of chocolate, too. I think I’ll join the kids when they run away to Kira’s.)
Anyway. The kids went off to school today and basked in their celebrity, and I set out to get some things done.
I had therapy this morning, which was great, because I’m pretty sure my friends are getting REALLY TIRED of listening to my angst and self-flagellation over the accident. My therapist was kind enough to pretend to be interested while I spent my hour beating myself up and running through every possible tragic what-if scenario. Then she told me to knock it off. And then she told me to go look for a car rather than stressing out about it but not doing it.
[Digression: The tiny little Kia that I rented is possessed and makes all sort of weird noises. I think it knows that I have spoken disparagingly of it. I am sorry, little Kia. Please do not screech every time the key turns in the ignition, or moan every time the gas pedal is pressed. It doesn’t help your reputation.]
So I drove over to the Subaru dealership where I have my maintenance done. Er, where I HAD my maintenance done, back when I, you know, had a Subaru. That needed maintenance. As opposed to now, when I have a Subaru that needs to be placed in a trash compactor. Two very different things. Anyway.
A very nice, earnest man latched onto me at the dealership as I was walking around. I told him the story of my dearly departed Sylvia. (Did you know her name was Sylvia? It was. The kids named her.) I pointed out that I didn’t yet have my insurance check, and probably wouldn’t have it for up to a month. I was walking along a row of 2006 Tribecas (pretty!) and asked him how much they cost.
When I stopped laughing, I told him I’d be sure to come back for a new Tribeca right after I won the lottery. Then I asked what they had in the way of used Foresters.
My old car was a 2003 Forester, silver. The first car he took me to was a silver 2003. Huh. Well, my old car had about 33k miles on it, and this one was probably higher… I peered at the odometer. 35k. Huh. Well, my old car was a stick, and this one was an automatic. When the Lyme* was bad my knees were so swollen and achey I regularly cursed my clutch. Today, both my knees are black-n-blue, and a cruise in an automatic sounded pretty good.
So we took it out for a drive, me and Earnest Sales Guy. It drove really nicely.
We came back, and headed into the office to do the ritual dance of the automobile purchase. I love how in this technology age, buying a car still consists of the same old routine of numbers written on a piece of paper, presented to the sales manager, countered, counter-countered, and eventually a piece of paper that looks like it was used by a dyslexic to work out his math homework is the deal-sealing document.
We sat down, and he popped back up to go talk to the sales manager. Or pick his nose, and tell me he was talking to the sales manager. Whatever. He came back with his magic number on the paper. It was $4,000 more than I anticipate getting for my car. I laughed. He pretended to be wounded. I told him I couldn’t afford his lovely car, but thank you very much for your time. He urged me to counter. I told him my counter would make HIM laugh, because I didn’t have anything near what they wanted.
I felt like we were about 5 minutes away from “After you!” “No, really, after YOU!” “Oh no, I INSIST, after YOU!” etc.
So I countered. And he laughed. And I told him to show it to his sales manager, or go pick his nose, but to take a walk with the piece of paper. He did, and came back $1500 over what I’d offered. I thought it over and told him I probably shouldn’t even be trying to buy a car today, and there would be no hard feelings if he couldn’t go low enough for me. I countered $1000 under their offer and told him I was done.
I figured that was the end of that. But apparently not a lot of people buy cars on Thursday mornings a few weeks before Christmas. Woohoo!
I was so pleased with my expert handling of the entire thing, that I walked out of there and immediately called my Dad, told him what I paid, and asked him if I did okay. To his credit, he insisted that I had. Actually, we’d done the whole thing with an NADA book, so I knew it was pretty good. But I am not exactly accustomed to thinking “Gee, perhaps I should buy myself a car” and then walking into a dealership and DOING it.
I went to the supermarket afterwards, and it was kind of a letdown. Especially because we’re supposed to get a big storm tomorrow and the entire free world was there buying milk and toilet paper.
After I’d taken the groceries home and put them away, I went and picked the kids up from school, and told them we were going to go look at cars. Then I took them over to the dealership and pointed at various cars. “This one?” I would ask. “How about this one?” They poo-pooed ever choice. None of them were RIGHT. None of them were like OUR CAR.
Finally I pointed out the silver one. “Hey! That one looks just like our car!” I said. Monkey agreed, and Chickadee sadly said that it was just like our car USED to be. I leaned down and whispered in her ear, “Guess what? That’s our car.” She approved, and announced that the new car shall be Sylvia Too, T-O-O, not T-W-O. Sounds good to me.
* Speaking of my Lyme diagnosis… I got 2 lab sheets in the mail from my doctor’s office today. One said my additional tests came back elevated, indicative of the possibility of “additional infection,” and one said my Western Blot was negative but I should still probably be treated for Lyme because I am clinically symptomatic. How thorough! Yet confusing! Okay then! But did I mention I bought a car?